Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009 | 4:58 p.m.
For a group of students at Charles Silvestri Junior High School, the fostering of holiday cheer didn't end with the ringing in of the new year.
On Jan. 7, about a week after many residents finished putting away the decorations and began tackling resolutions, the school's drama students performed the holiday comedy "Stocking Stuffers."
Drama teacher Steve Rankin said the play was originally scheduled to go on Dec. 17, following a performance of the same play the previous night by a separate set of student actors, but the nearly half foot of snow that fell that evening prevented things from going as planned.
Then they had the snow day and the Friday before the winter break to contend with, so he said the play had to wait until after the holidays.
Having returned Jan. 5 from a couple of weeks of no class time, Rankin said many of the students had to go back to scripts during the two days of rehearsals they had before the performance.
Student Sydney Dempsey, a seventh grader who played cupid in a skit where she, Uncle Sam, the Easter Bunny, a witch and a pilgrim get together and plot how to gain some of Santa's popularity for themselves, said she was a little worried people wouldn't be as into it as they would've been before the holidays.
"Christmas is not going to be for another 300 plus days, people aren't going to be as excited about it," she said.
But her fears proved to be unfounded as the small audience clapped and laughed throughout the students' six skits.
In a scene following the opening skit, students Codi Meyers and Madison Hurley depicted Donner and Blitzen pumping iron during the off season in hopes of switching their place from holding up the rear of the pack on Santa's journeys to leading their fellow reindeer.
In a later scene student Mackenzie Odell played the role of G.I. Joe suffering through a love triangle with Barbie and Ken.
Jessica Vance, playing the role of Barbie, debated the importance of sensitivity in a guy as G.I. Joe used an onion to bring tears to his eyes.
As the grand finale, Blitzen and Donner were brought to trial for running over Grandma.
Sean Gribbin, playing the role of Scrooge — the prosecutor of the reindeer, told the laughing audience, which had been asked to serve as the jury, "I say we should put these two in the San Diego Zoo where they can no longer trample innocent old ladies."
Sheri Barsoum, who came to see her daughter Jacline play the role of Grandma's giant carton of eggnog, which had been called to the courtroom as a witness, said she thought the students all did a fabulous job and that it was kind of cool that they ended up having to do the play after the holidays.
"It's kind of like getting an extra box of presents two weeks after," she said with a laugh.
Ashley Livingston can be reached at 990-8925 or firstname.lastname@example.org.